CSKA Moscow and Caja Laboral face NBA teams during Euroleague American Tour
Euroleague Basketball and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have announced that two Euroleague teams will compete in five preseason games from October 14 to 16, 2010 in the United States. The five games, which are part of the Euroleague American Tour 2010, will be played by former Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow of Russia and Caja Laboral of Spain. The two teams will face four NBA opponents: the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"This exchange between Euroleague and NBA teams, well established now on both sides of the Atlantic over many years, is exciting because it gives fans the chance to see the best of two basketball worlds," Roser Queraltó, Euroleague Basketball Business Development Manager stated. "At the same time, I think it brings those worlds closer together and that process of globalizing the sport of basketball is a great experience for everyone who is fortunate enough to be involved."
"There is a tradition of games between NBA and Euroleague teams both in the United States and in Europe," said Sophie Goldschmidt, Senior Vice President NBA Europe. "These games, along with the upcoming NBA Europe Live Tour, demonstrate our continued collaboration with Euroleague Basketball as we work together to grow the game of basketball around the world."
"This is great news for Vitoria, Alava and our club, and it reinforces our image as one of the best ambassadors of Basque sports in the world," Caja Laboral president Josean Querejeta said. "It also means recognition for the sporting and business progress of Baskonia, which in recent years has had a strong presence in the most important basketball events of Europe, both in the Euroleague and in the Spanish competition."
"We are very glad to be invited again and to represent the Euroleague and Russian basketball," PBC CSKA President Andrey Vatutin said. "Two years ago, when our club went overseas for the first time, we were hoping that this single action would grow into serious partnership between the two most powerful basketball leagues in the world. I am happy to see that the Euroleague Basketball American Tour has become traditional and popular. I’d like to note that it was the NBA who suggested our opponents, and this option seemed very interesting to us. It is difficult to say what kind of rosters Oklahoma City and Cleveland will have in October, but I can promise that CSKA will fight for the win in both games. The Euroleague Basketball American Tour tour will be useful for us because the game rules will change next season, they will become closer to American ones, and we will get the chance to prepare better, to try new tactical ideas, to learn from NBA teams' experience."
The Euroleague American Tour 2010 will tip off on Tuesday, October 12 with CSKA Moscow facing the Heat in Miami. Then, Thursday, October 14 will continue with two games. The Grizzlies hosts Caja Laboral in Memphis for what will be the Spanish team's North American debut, while CSKA visits the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Two nights later, on Saturday, October 16, the Euroleague teams go to new cities. Caja Laboral will play the Spurs in San Antonio while CSKA meets the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
The Euroleague American Tour 2010 continues a tradition of friendly competition between NBA and Euroleague teams that dates back to 1978, when Maccabi Tel Aviv played the Washington Bullets in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following the Euroleague American Tour 2010, a total of 61 games will have been played between European and NBA clubs.
Two other games between Euroleague and NBA teams will take place prior to the Euroleague American Tour 2010. As part of the fifth annual NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™, Armani Jeans Milano will host the New York Knicks in Milan on Sunday, October 3. Four days later, on Thursday, October 7, the defending champions in both competitions, Regal FC Barcelona and the Los Angeles Lakers, will meet in Barcelona, Spain. As part of NBA Europe Live 2010, the Lakers will also face the Minnesota Timberwolves in London on October 4, with the Knicks taking on the Timberwolves in Paris on October 6.